Tag Archives: RNZI

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio New Zealand International

799px-Wellington_city_with_Cable_CarFor your listening pleasure: two full hours of Radio New Zealand International, recorded on November 22, 2013 starting around 7:59 UTC on 9,765 kHz.

This recording begins with the The RNZI interval signal: the charming and unmistakable call of the New Zealand Bellbird.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio New Zealand International

The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) provides the interval signal for RNZI (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) provides the interval signal for RNZI (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

One of my favorite shortwave radio broadcasters is Radio New Zealand International. RNZI has authoritative news–with a focus on NZ and the Pacific islands–music, sports and their own unique character, though they operate on a very modest budget by international broadcasting standards.

The RNZI interval signal is charming and unmistakable: the call of the New Zealand Bellbird.

Fortunately, in the 3 hour recording of RNZI below, I caught not only the interval signal as the broadcast began, but also as it went off the air. This recording was made on March 14th 2013 starting around 8:00 UTC on 9,765 kHz. (You’ll note news of the Pope.)

Click here to download the full broadcast as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Note to SWLing Post reader, Mike:
I hope you enjoy these sounds from home!

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RNZI says shortwave ‘will continue to play major role’ in Pacific

In an age where shortwave listeners feel they only hear negative news from the major broadcasters, it’s refreshing to see that one of our favorite stations understands the value of shortwave radio.

In an interview with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU),
Chief Executive of Radio New Zealand, Peter Cavanagh, said:

“We currently broadcast to the Pacific using both analogue and digital (DRM) shortwave transmitters.

“Most of our local partner stations are now using our digital transmission to provide a higher quality and more reliable signal for re-broadcast to their own audiences.

“But many individuals and those living on the more remote islands are still very much dependent on analogue receivers – particularly in times of crisis such as the cyclone season – and it’s likely that analogue shortwave will continue to play a major role in the region for many more years to come.”

Read the full article here.

Something he didn’t mention was the importance shortwave radio played in Fiji last year when the government shut down Australia’s ABC’s FM stations. Unlike the internet or FM radio, shortwave radio crosses borders without regard to who is in power.

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When shortwave radio is better than the Internet

From Reuters:

Fiji has been plunged into a political crisis after the president reappointed military chief Frank Bainimarama as interim prime minister on Saturday, less than two days after a court ruled his 2006 coup and subsequent government illegal.

Fiji MapBainimarama tightened media censorship on Wednesday and continued to refuse to hold elections before 2014.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said local technicians had been ordered by the military government to shut down two FM relay stations in the capital Suva and the western sugar town of Nadi.

But ABC said its Radio Australia news programme was still broadcasting on shortwave transmitters.

The military government has asked that Fiji reporters only publish “positive” news, or in their terms, “journalism of hope.” This censorship has also pushed Radio New Zealand International out of Fiji.

Other reports have indicated that the government is now trying to restrict internet news sources and blogs. Internet cafe owners are under threat of being shut down, as well.

UPDATE (21 Nov 2009): The military-installed Fiji government has removed all broadcasting licences and given Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum the absolute power to renew or redistribute them without any compensation to those whose licences are stripped. (Source: The Australian via RNW Media Network)

Radio without borders

ABC RadioWhen people ask whether we need shortwave radio in this internet information age, events like this provide a clear affirmative answer. Once ABC and RNZI were ousted from Fiji, these broadcasters immediately reiterated to Fiji listeners that their programming can be heard all day on shortwave (see schedule below).

And that’s the remarkable thing about shortwave–it penetrates borders without regard to who is in power or to restrictions placed upon local media. Even when the internet is crippled. Can shortwave broadcasts be jammed?  Sure–but it’s not all that easy to do; it’s much more difficult than, say, seizing control of a country’s internet service provider, or (as in the case of Fiji) of their local broadcasters and stations. Plus, jamming usually targets a specific frequency, so if radio listeners find their broadcasts jammed on one frequency, there are often literally dozens of ways around the jam–other frequencies often carry the same or similiar programming from the same or other international broadcasters.

Much of the decline of shortwave radio is attributed to the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War era,  national superpowers were obsessed with piercing borders with their respective messages; since the Cold War ended, that technology is no longer as driven. But as the Fiji story demonstrates, the need is very much ongoing, perhaps even more so, as small countries try out a variety of political options, often exercising this power along the long and twisting road to democratic governance.  Now, shortwave should have a new and broader focus: sending news, music, education and human interest programming to the developing world.

For an example of an organization making a difference through shortwave radio technology, check out Ears To Our World.

ABC Shortwave Broadcast Schedule to Fiji

Local Time 04:00 – 09:00
Frequencies: 5995 7240 7240 9580 9710 11650 11660 11880 12080

Local Time: 09:00 – 12:00
Frequencies: 11650 11660 12080 12080 12080 13630 15230 15515 17785 17795

Local Time: 12:00 – 16:00
Frequencies: 12080 12080 15240 15515 17795

Local Time: 16:00 – 19:00
Frequencies: 12080 12080 15160 15240 15515

Local Time: 19:00 – 04:00
Frequencies: 5995 6020 7240 9580 9590 12080 12080 12080 13630 15160 15240

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